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Mayor, LAPD Chief Don Blue Jeans To Raise Awareness Of Sexual Violence

LOS ANGELES ( — Los Angeles' mayor and chief of police both put on their blue jeans Wednesday to help raise awareness and change public attitudes about sexual violence.

KNX 1070's Margaret Carrero reports Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Charlie Beck were on hand at GUESS? corporate headquarters in downtown LA to mark the 15th annual "Denim Day" .

Mayor, LAPD Chief Don Blue Jeans To Raise Awareness Of Sexual Violence

Organized annually by the LA-based nonprofit organization Peace Over Violence, Denim Day was founded in response to a 1998 Italian court case that sparked international outrage when judges did not convict a rapist because the victim wore jeans.

The Supreme Court of Appeals in Rome eventually overturned the original ruling, which stated that because the victim wore very tight jeans she must have had help to remove them, thereby implying consent to have sex.

"This become known as the 'jeans alibi' or the 'sexy clothing defense'," said Patti Giggan, the founder of Denim Day and Executive Director of Peace Over Violence.

Under a new partnership with the organization, the GUESS? Foundation has committed to promote Denim Day in more than 400 stores across three brands under the GUESS? corporate umbrella.

At the city level, Garcetti said LA remains committed to expediting the processing of DNA rape kits in order to bolster prosecutions "for those who have been brave enough to come forward, those who have been the victims and who we will turn into the survivors."

According to Beck, at least one sexual assault is reported every day in the city of Los Angeles.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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